If we don't end war, war will end us!
— H.G. Wells
The Dark Army: Uprising, often abbreviated TDA1, is the first half of a two-parts divided single-player standalone modification of Return to Castle Wolfenstein, developed and published by 85 Prøductions, released on December 3, 2016 on Microsoft Windows via Mod DB.
Weeks after the failure of the Nazis in Isenstadt, a British undercover agent working for the Office of Secret Actions organization reports that Deathshead has survived the Zeppelin accident, and is now working on a totally new bio-mechanic experiment, in order to create a new army of Super Soldiers.
According to the Intel the British agent provided, Deathshead, hidden in a secret base in the German mountains, has sent infantry troops in a village not far from his position, for archaeological excavations, in order to find a special artifact, called The Dark Relic.
This artifact is somehow important for the enemy's plan, in order to create new Super Soldiers, with a powerful form of energy. Deathshead plans to create the ultimate army of Super Soldiers with this dark and powerful relic – with the goal to institute a new order.
Below are listed various new features brought by this modification:
- Exclusive missions (including more cutscenes)
- Remade guns (including camouflage options)
- Better light system (including anamorphic lens flares)
- New user interface (including remade HUD)
- Finest blood effects (including new sprites)
- Detailed high-quality sounds (including sound reverberation)
- Detailed high-definition textures (including 4K-adapted textures)
- Night and day choice (including different enemy behaviors)
More features were included thanks to the implementation of the RealRTCW engine.
Indirect Reveal Edit
On July 14, 2013, the developer asked for help through a thread on Splash Damage and WarChest' Return to Castle Wolfenstein editing forums regarding artificial intelligence related issues. Explaining the symptoms of these issues indirectly revealed the nature of what was in the works, forcing the developer to tease before the official reveal.
Early Teasing Edit
On July 17, 2013, the developer begun a teasing campaign through a thread on Splash Damage and WarChest' Return to Castle Wolfenstein editing forums regarding a future map pack (or add-on) for Return to Castle Wolfenstein; few screenshots were published during the following days, presenting some potential features of the project.
Worldwide Reveal Edit
On July 21, 2013, the modification was revealed through a thread on Splash Damage and WarChest' Return to Castle Wolfenstein editing forums, as a single-player add-on modification for Return to Castle Wolfenstein; few screens were published that day. It was announced that the modification wouldn't release before 2014, however it was quickly stated that the it would release in 2015 instead, possibly in that year's Winter season.
Division Announcement Edit
On November 18, 2014, during a community-organized event to celebrate Return to Castle Wolfenstein's thirteenth anniversary, a third (and short) trailer for the modification was shown, revealing the project's division into two distinct parts, the first subtitled Uprising, announced be released in 2015.
Important News Edit
On March 1, 2015, important information surfaced through a massive status update regarding the project, such as its new engine (iortcw) but also about a serious release date: December 2015; for, at least, the Microsoft Windows version. The developer also talked about the lifetime of the mod and the features proposed by the new engine.
Release Date Edit
On August 23, 2015, the developer released the last trailer of the modification as well as a long gameplay presentation commented by TheRenegadist (voice acting Jack Stone as well as the OSA Director). Both of these videos shown a December 30, 2015 release date.
Initial Release Edit
On December 30, 2015, the Microsoft Windows version of the modification was released on Mod DB. However, unexpected issues were quickly spotted that, even with a patch released by the developer, were not able to be fixed for a majority of the players.
Re-release Announcement Edit
On January 2, 2016, the developer was unfortunately forced to retrieve the mod from Mod DB servers and to announce the project's overhaul revision. First announcing the modification's comeback for February 20 and then for May 8 of the same year, the developer decided to replace the project's engine, which considerably affected the re-release, which was later announced to have been moved to November 30.
Stable Release Edit
On December 3, 2016, on Mod DB, the mod was re-released and this time received critical acclaim from the players. The mod was eventually nominated for the 2016 Mod of the Year Awards Mod DB competition. The release was also directly promoted by Mod DB on social networks Facebook and Twitter. Later it officially became recognized as of the 100 Best Mods of 2016, during the 2016 Mod of the Year Awards held by Mod DB.
Version 2.0 Announcement Edit
On August 21, 2017, an “upgrade” called Version 2.0 was revealed in the second teaser of The Dark Army: Downfall, in real-time, by one of the characters of this sequel: Karl Villigut. Described as being the work of a whole year, “remaster” and “upscale”, this new version is scheduled to release early 2018.
Version 2.0 Demo Release Edit
On December 1, 2017, a demo of Version 2.0 was released, including the introduction cutscene and the first level, Village, playable by either day or night, in four different difficulty modes.
In 2013, it was announced that the project would release Winter 2015, potentially December.
In 2014, plans regarding the release were changed and the developer announced a Q4 2014 release, but later returned to a 2015 release.
In 2015, it was revealed that the project would be released in December, the original release window announced two years prior, later moving to December 30.
In 2016, due to multiple issues for many players and mixed reviews, the modification was quickly retrieved from its original download site, and announced to be re-released after an overhaul revision. First announced to comeback on February 20, and then May 8, the release was eventually moved to November 30, due to an almost unexpected engine swap. However, due to unexpected Mod DB network issues, the modification was ultimately released on December 3.
In 2017, development of a new major update begun development, early in the year. Called Version 2.0, this “upgrade” was revealed on August 21 in the second teaser of The Dark Army: Downfall, in real-time, by one of the characters of this sequel: Karl Villigut. Described as being the work of a whole year, “remaster” and “upscale”, this new version has is scheduled to release early 2018, as declared in a Mod DB news update on November 30. Additionally, a demo was released on December 1.
The developer declared in 2013 that different editions were planned. However, asked a year later, they were not able to give any additional information, claiming that the idea was still being considered, and that those would most-likely have diverging additional content. However, after the initial release's mixed reception, the developer announced the cancellation of such iterations.
Three versions were initially planned, one for each of the three platforms on which the original game was released. However, totally different in terms of abilities, the Windows, Mac and Linux versions of the mod would have been unequal due to gameplay constraints on some of these platforms, claimed the developer. After the initial release's mixed reception, the modification's engine was changed with a more recent one, RealRTCW, which was only compatible with Windows. Thus the mod became exclusive to Windows users.
Downloadable separately, a digital strategy guide was in the works at some point, meant to be available at launch, said the developer. After the initial release's mixed reception, it is still unknown if the idea has been abandoned or not.
As initially stated by the developer, this modification would have had download-able additional content. However, after the initial release's mixed reception, the developer declared, through a status update, that no add-ons would be released in the end, to focus on improving the original story.
It was declared in 2013 that there would be a public playable demo a few weeks before the mod's release and a closed demo for some mappers, before said public one. It was confirmed, in the second Q&A interview in 2014, that the plan had been abandoned, for unknown reasons (most-likely development-related). The developer declared in 2016 that they consider the failed initial release of December 30, 2015 itself as a Beta demo (or some sort of early access), as it was still quite buggy and glitchy at that moment.
Initial Release Edit
Upon its initial release on December 30, 2015 via Mod DB, unexpected issues were quickly spotted that, even with a patch released by the developer, were not able to be fixed for a majority of the players, giving birth to mixed reviews. It resulted in the modification's retrieval from its download site as well as the announcement of a re-release after an overhaul treatment of the whole project.
Stable Release Edit
Upon its stable release on December 3, 2016 via Mod DB, the modification received critical acclaim from the players and was also nominated for the 2016 Mod of the Year Awards Mod DB competition. The release was also directly promoted by Mod DB on social networks Facebook and Twitter. Later it officially became recognized as of the 100 Best Mods of 2016, as chosen by the players for the 2016 Mod of the Year Awards held by Mod DB.
The project is developed (and published) by 85 Prøductions since July 2013. As multiple stand-by periods occurred, the main factor that accelerated the development is the project's division which happened in November 2014. The mapping/scripting development phases came to an end in August 2015 as well as the voice acting phases. After a mixed-reviewed initial release, the project was eventually overhauled.
As the story is the most important part of the project, the developer collaborated with a few talented voice actors, in order to fully bring to life the different characters and NPCs of the modification, in 2015. Additional dubbing was made in 2017 for Version 2.0, with new voice actors.
The developer declared he often tested the mod, this step being really important to evaluate the evolving mod, to rate-it but more importantly to hunt the potential persistent bugs in the need to be fixed. The Alpha testing phases were conducted by a private tester of the modification, however. In December 2017, a demo of Version 2.0 was released, thus becoming the first official testing build of the mod.
After a mixed-reviewed initial release, the project was entirely overhauled, in order to be re-released a year later.
Development of Version 2.0, involved remastering and upscaling the mod as the main concepts of this upgrade. Additionally, parts of the story were re-imagined.
Below are the many faces behind the development, as revealed after the player completes the mod's campaign.
List of the voice actors (in order of appearance, as on the official site).
|Jack Stone||Max Huggins|
|OSA Director||Cody Fleming|
|B.J. Blazkowicz||Matthew Simmons|
|Christoph Machtig||Cody Fleming|
|Karl von Starke||Carl Brooks|
|Wilhelm von Starke||Carl Brooks|
List of the developers/contributors.
|Base Engine (1.42d)||Knightmare|
|Software Support||Cezary Szydlik|
To be added